Anniversary, Assholes and Kleenex

September 18, 2012

Hi Readers!

Why is my life so weird? Apparently, I have contracted some sort of plague. I know it’s bad because my husband actually got it first, and he nevernever gets sick.

I think this is some sort of payback, because I had a wonderful anniversary weekend with my husband. Almost too good to believe. I’ll spare you the details, but at one point, he turned to me and said, “How could I lose? This weekend contains all the things you love: historical stuff, jewelry, cooking information and bloody, bloody violence.”


It was lovely, except for this little nastygerm that is running through our household. I’m using a lot of Kleenex and whining in my soup.

Also, I got hacked again. My password has been changed so many times that it makes my head spin. Things kept going crashboom!, and then I’d call tech support, and things would be fixed, and then a few hours later…down again. Assholes! I’m working on it. I am wildly optimistic that I’ll be back sometime…this century.

In other news, it’s time for the end-of-summer, drowning-in-garden’s-bounty recipes. Today I’m giving you a very delicious, very ugly, veggie-centered braise. In the past, when I’ve been up to my armpits in veggies, I’ve made ratatouille. Many, many versions of ratatouille. But this year, I had cabbage. Cabbage is a polarizing vegetable–people either love it or hate it. I kind of hate it. The only way I like cabbage is if it’s cooked to death in some kind of meat or fat. Meat and fat are key to cabbage comsumption.

I was in a pickle, though, because I was under the weather and unwilling to make the effort to make cabbage rolls, which is my go-to cabbage dish. Coleslaw? Meh. Not in the mood. Eventually, I just chopped the cabbage and all of the other veggies that were lollygagging on my counter and dumped them all in a pot, Frankenstein style. It bubbled away in the oven and smelled quite nice after a while, but truthfully, I think this is the homeliest dish I’ve ever made. Dead serious. It’s worse than Miley Cyrus’ new hair.

I will spare you the photographs.

You see, I had a purple cabbage on my hands. Purple cabbage is quite pretty, unless you cook it with anything else, which I did. If you make this fatal error, you have…purple haze. It leaks into everything. Purple food isn’t very pretty.

I almost threw the whole lot out, but it did smell good, so I gave it a go. It was delicious and rustic and rather comforting on a rainy day.

I served it over rice, with a nice dollop of Greek yogurt. I also ate it for breakfast with a hunk of bread, which…yep…made my husband gag and wish he’d never married such an odd creature. I hope to torture him for at least 12 more years with my disgusting morning repasts.

This Frog-Prince of a dish also makes a nice side, if you want to serve some lovely roasted chicken or pork alongside. However, do not omit the bacon, people! Bacon makes the world go round. Can I just share that as I type this, I am wearing a shirt emblazoned with the logo, Boccalone: Tasty Salted Pig Parts? ‘Tis true. Bacon and I get along swimmingly.

Okay, okay, if you are a vegetarian, you can simply substitute a few tablespoons of butter for the bacon fat, but you will be sorry. Hmph.

I encourage you to make this only with green cabbage–it’s kind of a train wreck with purple, although it will taste fine.

The other day, while coloring a picture, Miss M. said, as she reached for a purple crayon, “Purple always dazzles up a picture.” And it does. Just maybe not in a braised veggie kind of way.

I hope, if you have a garden that’s busting, that you’ll make this. It uses up all kinds of odds and ends. It’s not even really a recipe–more of a method, truly.

As I’m editing this post, ready for a sad-sack nap, I just heard Rachael Ray use the term “smellavision.” And I thought there wasn’t anything more ridiculous than the appearance of my summer braise…

Love to you, readers. I’m on my way to recovery, and Miss D. does not have a broken wrist, which we feared this morning. I know. Life in the Weird Zone. Weird must be our new normal.


End Of Summer Braise

serves one person for a week if you use purple cabbage


6 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped

One large head cabbage, cored and roughly chopped

One onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2-3 cups of any leftover summer veggies, like zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, beans, bell peppers

3 tablespoons worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4+ cups low-sodium chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

rice or bread, for serving


In a large Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon. Add the cabbage and onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the rest of the vegetables, cook for another 3 minutes. Add the stock, worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper and bring up to a boil. Cover the pot and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Take out of the oven, stir, add more chicken stock if the braise seems dry. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Add the bacon to the pot, cover, and cook for 15 minutes more.

All of the vegetables should be completely collapsed into a warm, bacon-infused, sloppy mess. Add the fresh herbs and season again with salt and pepper. Serve as a side or a main dish (over rice or with bread).

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby September 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

The universe really would have stuck it to you if you both got sick, Miss D broke her wrist and you had to deal with Rachael Ray BEFORE your anniversary. Be thankful for small blessing, which I know you always are ;)

Being a vegan (and someone who doesn’t creatively cook, more importantly, I suppose) I won’t be making this dish, but I must add that purple has ALWAYS been my favorite color. Miss M is right on the money, my friend.


Jennifer September 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

I love, love, love cabbage. Just steamed down with salt and ham. So yum.


Kristen @ Motherese September 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’m sort of ho-hum about cabbage, but this sounds really good, even though my version would have to be sans bacon (and, even many years into vegetarianism, I must concede that bacon makes everything taste better). But I kind of want a dazzled-up picture of all that purpleness.

Hope the plague continues to move on and that no bones are broken in the meantime. xo


TKW September 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm


Girl, how can you live without bacon? You are made of strong stuff.


Naptimewriting September 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

See? We vegetarians are awesome. We know bacon makes things better, we often like the smell. But we don’t actually miss it or want any.

And that’s why America does not understand us.

I still want a Tasty Salted Pig Parts shirt, though…


Biz September 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hope that your sickies get gone soon – and the only way I eat cabbage is when its made into sauerkraut – I can eat it straight out of the jar cold, and that makes my husband throw up!


TKW September 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm


My Daddy-o would loooove you.


Biz September 20, 2012 at 7:26 am

I’ll like your Dad too, even though he’s a Cubs fan! :D


Jane September 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I sort of love cabbage so this sounds yummy, purple or green. And it sounds divine for breakfast – and that’s where we are sistas from another mista’. Yum. Or, Yum-O as Rachel Ray would say. ;)

(Hope you feel better soon! xoxo)


TKW September 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm


We breakfast weirdos have to stick together.


BigLittleWolf September 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

So, so, so sorry you’ve contracted the Nasty Bastard Bug that seems to be making the rounds in assorted corners… But glad you had a good anniversary weekend, and j’adore purple cabbage, prepared almost any way (except naked).

This sounds delish, though I rarely eat bacon (like it, just don’t eat it much). I am an avid (purple) cabbage soup maker – simple, healthy, inexpensive, and delish as well… though maybe I ought to crumble some bacon in it?

Hoping you feel MUCHO better soon. xoxo


The Meaning of Me September 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Want to kill massive amounts of cabbage? Halushki, hands down. Noodles, cabbage, butter, onion. Oh, garlic, salt and pepper. Done. My Grandmother’s was to die for.

So sorry you’re sick…feel better!


Naptimewriting September 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm

That sounds FABULOUS. Going to try it.


The Meaning of Me September 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

It really is – I used to ask for it for my birthday dinner every year. Love love love. If you like measurements, you can easily find it on the Internet. If not, just go with what feels right at the moment – it’s nearly impossible to do it “wrong.” Tastes great and wicked cheap and easy, too. Enjoy!


TKW September 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

Was she Hungarian?


The Meaning of Me September 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm


Ironically, she was not. My Grandmother was as Italian as the day is long. However, she went to school at the Slovak/Hungarian school in the neighborhood and learned all sorts of fantastic things from the Slovak/Hungarian mothers and grandmothers of her friends and schoolmates.


Jamie September 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Rachel Ray is quite literally the most annoying person on the planet. Too bitchy to admit that I frequently watch the show just to make fun of her? And I laugh hysterically at my own catty comments?


TKW September 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

You and I would get along just fine, cackling at Rachael Ray.


Katybeth September 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I’ve never seen Rachel Ray. But I did blog about her special “garbage bowl” a very long time ago. Love cabbage and every year on March 17th I vow to make it more often. I might have to give this a try. I’m curious how cabbage became your comfort food for when you have the plague. Didn’t the smell of it make you a bit ishey?
Glad you are feeling better, all bones are as they should be and your husband was smitten with you all over again.


TKW September 20, 2012 at 9:33 am


The bacon cancelled out the cabbage stink! Also, I really didn’t crave this dish, but I had all this crud laying around that needed to be used. I’m cheap.


idiosyncratic eye September 19, 2012 at 1:40 am

Happy cabbage eating and hope you feel better soon! :)


suzicate September 19, 2012 at 4:34 am

Happy anniversary.
Sorry about the assholes…my email got hacked last month. Don’t people have better things to do with their time and resources?
Wish I’d had this recipe yesterday! My family had to suffer with my cabbage, just plain stir fried.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes September 19, 2012 at 5:22 am

Happy anniversary!
About the cabbage : red cabbage, stewed for HOURS with apples, bacon and a wee bit of sugar. Serve with a thick sausage and some buttery mash. One of my favorite winter dinners.


Arnebya September 19, 2012 at 5:39 am

I LOVE green cabbage. I’m to the point where I love it so much I just steam it with butter, salt, and pepper (although I do steam it quite a while because I don’t like it crunch). Admittedly, I don’t care for purple cabbage except in cole slaw and even then it’s meh. I used to use turkey neck bones in cabbage like I do in collards but I realized for me to enjoy it fully, it doesn’t even need it. Cabbage, mashed potatoes, and fried croaker, one of my absolute favorite dishes.

I’ll take weirdness. I’ve had it so long it looks good on me.


Tiffany September 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

I’m soooo glad you had a wonderful weekend!


leslie September 20, 2012 at 5:55 am

“How could I loose?” ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..ahhhhhhhh. how sweet.
Everyone is sick…I blame it on the damn kids bringing it home from school.


TKW September 20, 2012 at 9:34 am


I know. Within the first two weeks, they were afflicted with the germs. Gah!


Contemporary Troubadour September 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I was always lukewarm about cabbage until my sister introduced me to a stir-fry with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, tofu, and squash. Maybe you’d like it for breakfast too (you can always omit the tofu and replace with real meat if you so desire) :)

As for bacon + cabbage, absolutely. It makes all the difference. I roast the latter heavily layered with the former and it’s vegetable bliss.


Robin September 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Happy Anniversary!
Get well soon!
Sorry you were hacked! So sorry! That really sucks!!!

No broken wrist for Miss D! Yay! But, sorry she was injured.

Cabbage? Bacon? Yum!


Barbara September 22, 2012 at 7:22 am

Belated Happy Anniversary, sweetie!
You’ve got one cabbage-loving friend. Me. And you won’t believe how I like it: shredded and fried. Bacon grease would be the best, but butter is fine. When I’m dieting (3/4 of the time) I just use butter flavored Pam. Salt and pepper, and it all comes out yummy and browned. Quick too. But you have to be a cabbage lover. Not another person in my family, past or present, has ever liked it, in any form. And I’ve tried them all. I made a friend’s red cabbage dish once for a holiday and while it was delicious, it stunk up the house. Never made it again.
Feel better soon and I’m sure glad Miss D’s arm is not broken.
With kids, weird IS normal. Always has been.


faemom October 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

“Purple always dazzles up a picture.” We need to make t-shirts with this logo!


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